Share
Bookmark
Print
GPX
KML
Plan a route here
Embed
Fitness
Hiking trail

Eguisheim Loop to the Castles

Hiking trail · Alsace
Responsible for this content
Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • The Rue du Remparts
    / The Rue du Remparts
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • Fountain of Saint-Leo at Sunset
    / Fountain of Saint-Leo at Sunset
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • View from Château du Hagueneck
    / View from Château du Hagueneck
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • Winding Woodland Path
    / Winding Woodland Path
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • Weckmund Tower
    / Weckmund Tower
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • View to Eguisheim
    / View to Eguisheim
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / The Trois-Châteaux
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Dagsbourg Tower
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
150 300 450 600 750 m km 2 4 6 8 10 12

Today’s walk climbs through vineyards and woodland for a closer look at 4 of those imposing châteaux (castles) you have likely seen crowning the peaks of the nearby mountains.

moderate
13.8 km
4:15 h
544 m
544 m

As you wander through the fairy-tale streets of Alsace, or skip through the vineyards, it can be easy to forget the region’s turbulent history. As the frontier of the Roman Empire and the border of Germany and France, the Alsatian Plain and Vosges Mountains have regularly become a battlefield. Today’s walk climbs to four châteaux perched high in the mountains, which illuminate this violent past.

The walk quickly leaves the genteel vineyards and begins a twisting and turning ascent through shadowy woodland. Occasional glimpses through the trees reveal Eguisheim and the Alsatian Plain shrinking beneath you, but the first proper viewpoint is Château du Hagueneck. Though this castle is now largely derelict and being reclaimed by nature, the view from the tower remains just as extensive as when it was built 800 years ago. Slightly further on, the ruins of Trois-Châteaux are even more impressive, sufficiently intact for your imagination to wonder how this mighty fortress may have looked, in all its grandeur, before its destruction in 1466.

A descent through woodland and vineyard returns you to Eguisheim, where you’ll no doubt find a greater appreciation for the romantic, peaceful village. As you enjoy your meal or drink tonight, be sure to glance up at the mountains and admire the three castles silhouetted behind the setting sun.

Author’s recommendation

Come prepared with provisions for a picnic. There are several opportunities to stop throughout the walk, though the best are near the Trois-Châteaux!

outdooractive.com User
Author
Josiah Skeats
Updated: August 15, 2019

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
606 m
Lowest point
208 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

There are some exposed and unfenced edges throughout the walk; be careful and remain on the path.

There are several stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement. Walk on the left side facing the oncoming traffic unless there is a sharp left bend, in which case you should cross to the outside edge to allow drivers the maximum time to see you.

Some of the path is along rocky steps; be careful as these may be slippery, especially when wet.

Equipment

Sturdy hiking boots and a waterproof/wind-break layer are required. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.

Make sure you bring enough water. It is recommended to drink 0.75 litres per 1 hour of hiking in hot weather.

Be sure to bring plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.

Tips, hints and links

Points of Interest

Château du Hagueneck

Climb the tower of Château du Hagueneck to enjoy a commanding view across the Alsatian Plain. With such a wonderful and imposing view, it is perhaps surprising that this castle was built in the 13th century primarily with a residential, and not a defensive, function. That hasn’t stopped it from seeing its fair share of conflict; over the years it has been sieged, burnt, destroyed and rebuilt.

 

Trois-Châteaux

The Trois-Châteaux or three castles of Dagsbourg, Wahlenbourg and Weckmund were built over a period of around 200 years, between the 11th and 13th centuries, with new additions and extensions built to meet increasing military and residential demands. Today they are largely unchanged since 1466 when they were destroyed in the Six Denier War. They are an important symbol of Eguisheim.

 

Food and Drink

You only pass one village– Husseren-Les-Châteaux – today, after 10 kilometres. Be warned however, that these is no food available here (unless you arrive on a Sunday and want a fancy Sunday lunch at the hotel restaurant). Therefore, be sure to bring enough provisions with you for the walk.

There is nowhere to fill up your water bottles throughout the walk, so be sure to bring plenty of litres with you.

There is a caveau where you can enjoy some wine-tasting in the village.

 

 

 

Start

Fountain Saint-Leon, Eguisheim (209 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
48.042824, 7.306498
UTM
32U 373778 5322447

Destination

Fountain Saint-Leon, Eguisheim

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km – Start on the road in the centre of Eguisheim with the fountain, castle and chapel, all dedicated to Saint Leo, on your left. CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to walk along the road, leaving the village the same way you entered yesterday. After 100 metres you will pass the war memorial on your left.

0.20km – As you reach a crossroads near a school, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, passing to the right of the fountain after 50 metres.

0.58km – As you reach a campsite on your left (not to be confused with the road signposted to the campsite), BEAR RIGHT onto the uphill road following the blue cross icon to Hagueneck. After 50 metres BEAR LEFT to remain on the paved road and ignore the gravel road on your right.

0.98km – As the path forks and both directions become unpaved, BEAR RIGHT. After 100 metres, TURN LEFT to continue heading uphill.

1.30km – At the T-junction beside a bench, and with a graffiti covered wall ahead, TURN LEFT to head uphill. After 100 metres, BEAR RIGHT as the road forks and then immediately ignore a gravel road on your right.

1.60km – BEAR LEFT to remain on the paved road. This road will head uphill, reach a crest and then begin heading downhill towards woodland. Remain on the paved road for 700 metres, ignoring all side paths, even where there is the blue cross icon and signpost to Hagueneck.

2.30km – At the paved T-junction, TURN RIGHT, ignoring the left turn which heads uphill and into dense woodland. After 100 metres, TURN LEFT at the crossroads to head into the woodland and pass through a 30 km/hour signpost.

2.60km – TURN LEFT sharply opposite a metal gate, following the green ring icon signposted to Hagueneck. Be careful not to follow the green ring icon on your right, signposted to Wettolsheim.

2.90km – TURN RIGHT as you emerge onto a paved road. Remain on this road for 500 metres, to continue heading uphill.

3.40km -  As the paved road crests a hill and opens out into a car parking space, TURN LEFT to pass through the car park, past an information board, and then begin heading downhill on the gravel road. You are following a red diamond icon to Hagueneck. As the track forks after 100 metres, BEAR RIGHT.

3.60km – As the path forks, with the left fork blocked by two large boulders, you should bear left to take a detour and visit Château du Hagueneck. After returning to this junction, TURN RIGHT onto the muddy path headed away from the boulders, following the blue cross to Repos des Chasseurs and Château Hohlandsbourg. Remain on this winding uphill path for 1.8 kilometres.

5.60km – BEAR LEFT to continue winding uphill along the well-established track, ignoring the downhill grassy path. After 300 metres, TURN RIGHT as the path splits, following the blue cross sign to Hohlandsbourg, and the symbol of a cart.

6.30km – BEAR RIGHT as the path forks in the woods. After 100 metres, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON, ignoring the right turn. At both junction you can follow the blue cross and yellow ring icons. You will soon pass a lone stretch of wall, and then a picnic bench and information board.

6.60km – As you reach the paved road, TURN LEFT onto the nearby footpath, to walk with the road on your right, and the algae-covered pond on your left. At the picnic bench after 100 metres, BEAR RIGHT to continue walking with the road on your right, passing a wooden post with an animal footprint sign. This path will begin heading downhill, initially parallel to the road, before curving left away from it.

6.90km – As the footpath emerges onto a dirt road, TURN RIGHT. After 300 metres, TURN LEFT as the road forks. After 15 metres, you will pass a squirrel carved out of a tree-trunk on your left.

8.00km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON ignoring a sharp left turn. After 300 metres, BEAR RIGHT from the dirt road onto a footpath, following a yellow dot marked Trois-Châteaux. Remain on this road for 500 metres, ignoring turns on either side.

8.80km – As you reach the car park, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to walk to the information board in the far corner. From the information board, BEAR LEFT onto the uphill footpath signposted to Trois-Châteaux. As this path forks, BEAR RIGHT following the red and yellow circle icons.

9.30km – After climbing a few stone steps, you will draw level with Weckmund Tower on your right. Take your time to explore the three châteaux that crown this prominent hilltop before you return to this point and BEAR RIGHT onto the downhill steps beside the metal handrail, signposted with a red dot to Husseren les Châteaux.

9.40km – As the path forks, BEAR RIGHT following the red dot to Husseren Les Châteaux. This path will pass below Weckmund Tower, on your right. From here the path becomes difficult to follow with fractured shortcuts and paths descending through the woodland. You should keep winding downhill, following the red dots signposted to Husseren, and sticking to the most well-established path which follows the gentlest gradient. Check the map regularly to ensure you remain on the correct path.

9.60km – At the bench with a good view over the Alsatian Plain, BEAR RIGHT to continue winding downhill. Continue sticking to the most established path. After 100 metres, at a second bench, which has its view obscured by trees, BEAR RIGHT following the sign to Husseren. Be careful as this path is root-exposed and rocky and may be slippery when wet.

9.90km – Having passed a large building – the hotel of Husseren Les Châteaux – on your right, BEAR RIGHT to head downhill. As you emerge onto a dirt road, which becomes paved after 20 metres on your right, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to cross over the dirt road and follow the footpath downhill on the far side. Soon you will begin to see houses through the trees.

10.00km – As the path forks, with the right fork leading to a paved road after 5 metres, BEAR LEFT, following the yellow circle icon and walking beside the upright wooden posts.

10.10km – As you emerge into a paved car-parking area with a statue of Mary in a cave on your left, TURN RIGHT to head downhill towards the village fountain.

10.30km – At the fountain, TURN LEFT to walk through the village. After 100 metres, you will pass the church on your right, and shortly after, BEAR LEFT to continue heading uphill.

10.50km – TURN RIGHT onto the grassy lane, passing through a 3.5 tonne weight restriction sign. After 200 metres, TURN RIGHT onto the gravel vehicle tracks which head downhill.

11.00km – You have now left the woodland behind and entered vineyards. At a crossroads, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to walk along worn vehicle tracks. After 150 metres, this path becomes slightly overgrown, walking with woodland on your left and vineyard on your right, before eventually entering the woodland.

11.40km – At the T-junction in the woods, TURN LEFT along the mud road. After 100 metres, BEAR RIGHT as the road forks. Remain on this mud road for 400 metres.

11.80km – TURN RIGHT from the dirt road onto a narrow singletrack footpath. This is a very minor path and is easy to miss, so check the map regularly as you approach it. After 200 metres CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON as this narrow footpath leads onto a gravel road.

13.10km – BEAR LEFT as the paved road forks opposite a rusty metal gate. After 100 metres you will pass the campsite on your right. CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON along this road for 700 metres, ignoring all side paths, to return to the centre of Eguisheim.

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Questions & answers

Pose the first question

You have a question concerning this content? Here is the right place to ask it.


Reviews

Write your first review

Be the first to review and help others.


Photos of others


Difficulty
moderate
Distance
13.8 km
Duration
4:15 h
Ascent
544 m
Descent
544 m

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
Show elevation profile Hide elevation profile
For changing the range of view, push the arrows together.